Global Renewable Energy: From Traditional Biofuels to Hydropower - Essay Sample

Published: 2023-08-31
Global Renewable Energy: From Traditional Biofuels to Hydropower - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Energy
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1301 words
11 min read


In the early days, there has been a global production of renewable energy. The historical production of renewable energy has been replaced by traditional biomass, including burning wood and the destruction of forests and agricultural biomass in search of other forms of energy. The hydropower did not have a large production of energy until the 1920s. Recently, traditional biofuels are significant sources of energy, which takes up to 60-70 %( Liang, 859). The form of energy has been dominantly used to do domestics activities in so many households. The world-bank has it into its report a 7% low-income using clean fuels for cooking purposes. It's indicative of hydropower remaining in dominance in consumption.

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The use of renewable energy in the continent is a technology that needs more embracing by society. Renewable energy is more often clean energy, which can be extracted from natural sources and replenishable. The most common form is sunlight and wind, which never cease to blow and shine despite the dominant factor of time and weather availability. The activities of humans have always turned into non-renewable sources despite the clean forms of energy. The renewable electrical energy comes along with benefits which aid the community in a significant way.

The governments are keen to move to renewable resources due to the possible factor of having fossil fuels as being a finite resource. The economists and experts are still liberating of the figures which are still in existence. Either way, despite the years in life, at one point, fossil fuels will get exhausted. The statistics of the population indicate an increase in population leads to an increased rate of consumption of fossil fuels. Geologists support this factor by having difficulties in locating crude oil and extract from the new sources.

Hydroelectricity Energy

Hydroelectricity form of energy has been used for power hundreds of years in the generation of electricity. There are two significant forms of using water for sustainable energy needs. Hydroelectricity comes into being through processing and controlling the flow of the water from its underlying sources. It is advantageous to renewable energy due to its generation of 3500 terawatts of power.

Hydroelectricity is a dominant clean form of energy with many numbers of advantages. The needs of the community to use electricity will determine the rise of the construction of dams. Sovacool (66) states that it is necessary to seek advisory on the dam's development by environmental engineers. It is considerable to check on the speed of the output to determine the raw product rightfully. Additionally, no fuel is required to get hydroelectricity, thus a low-cost form of energy. The process will have no significant mining procedures, processing, nor transportation cost. Statistics have indicated that the overall production cost of hydroelectricity per kilowatt-hour is 3-5c. Besides the low cost of production, hydropower is the cleanest form of energy. The construction process of building up a dam signifies carbon emission, which hydroelectricity will not need in particular. At the same time construction of dam ensure that drought has been curbed.

However, there are underlying side effects of having hydroelectric power. The construction of sites like building dams comes with cost impact, which environmental engineers need to consider when deciding to set up a new facility. There are chances of landscape destruction and variations in the ecology downstream. It will be worse on instances of having the dam fail. The effect will be catastrophic. There will be floods, which could ultimately lead to loss of life and even the destruction of homes surrounding the failed dam. It will also add more risks to the destruction of the archaeological landscape in the area under construction.

Solar Energy

The other primary form of renewable source of energy is solar. It is somehow contracting, given the fact; the sun has its finite level. Otherwise, it’s not a significant cause of alarm since there is still a life of 4.5bn years. The use of coal in the 19th century made solar energy undeveloped until the 1970s. Environmental awareness has made society have a better overview of cleaner energies, thus embracing solar energy. Photovoltaic and Concentrated Solar Power are the most basic types of solar energy. Photovoltaic aids in converting every cell of sunlight to electrical energy, which is consumed at homes and in industries. Concentrated Solar power has different functionality of collecting rays of sunlight to result in heat, which is used to activate turbines, an indication that energy is produced from the light, which is generated by heat.

Solar energy will be in operation until the sun last. The prediction number of years the sun seems to last is 70-80 billion years as compared to the lifespan of several decades on gas and coal. Solar energy is quite flexible since it can be used in several instances, i.e., electricity, heat water directly, and be a source of light. Furthermore, solar energy is cost saving. Over the years, the solar energy cost has increasingly reduced (Schill & Friedrich, n.p). On the instances when solar panels are used in line with local and national grid saves a lot of money therein. Also, upon installation, solar energy will only require a minimal cost of maintenance. It is an essential form of energy which will be much in years to come, thus better investment in improving technologies to increase its efficiency.

There are significant drawbacks to solar power energy reliability. To begin with, there is reduced efficiency during cloudier days, during storms, and in winter, where the sunlight is less. The other disconnect is that there is a need for careful placement to gather enough sunlight due to the rotation of the earth, which means the sun does not remain at a similar place all day(Schrill & Friedrich, n.p).

Wind Power

Wind-generated energy has been embraced as an inconsiderable number of countries. The use of wind-generated energy has different views from the community. Some individuals view it as a great way to improve the unlimited resource. Wind-generated energy has been used for years to propel ships while others are used to grind wheat. Similarly, the same concept has been used in the generation of electricity via turbines. In 2015, Denmark made a worldwide record by producing 40% national power from wind energy.

Just like other sources of energy, wind power has benefits that are advantageous to the community. The wind is continuously derived from then cycles of natural weather conditions. The wind is in existence both inland and sea. However, there are extreme wind levels at sea compared to on land, which indicates a higher chance of improving energy (Wiser et al., 151). The other underlying benefit is that its placement on the rural ranches has it on the minimal impact on the land.

Wind power is faced with challenges that hinder it from getting consumed by many people in the community. Wind-generated energy is effectively used at sea, where there are no city building blocking the flow of the wind. It is an indication that there is a need for expounded investment in the transportation of energy from the point of generation to the consumption point. Additionally, wind energy lucks the reliability since it's not constant, which differs with seasons. It's an indication that, during warm seasons, it will be generated to make shortfall.

Works Cited

Liang, Xiaodong. "Emerging power quality challenges due to the integration of renewable energy sources." IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications 53.2 (2016): 855-866.

Schill, Wolf-Peter, Alexander Zerrahn, and Friedrich Kunz. "Prosumage of solar electricity: pros, cons, and the system perspective." (2017).

Sovacool, Benjamin K., and Götz Walter. "Internationalizing the political economy of hydroelectricity: security, development, and sustainability in hydropower states." Review of International Political Economy 26.1 (2019): 49-79.

Wiser, Ryan, et al. "Long-term implications of sustained wind power growth in the United States: potential benefits and secondary impacts." Applied Energy 179 (2016): 146-158.

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